Viewing machine learning and data science applications as sociotechnical systems

The Data Exchange Podcast: Chris Wiggins on training the next-generation of data scientists on ethics and fairness in ML.

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In this episode of the Data Exchange I speak with Chris Wiggins, Associate Professor at Columbia University, Chief Data Scientist at the New York Times, and co-founder of hackNY. He began his career in theoretical physics but he always had a strong interest in applying quantitative techniques to other disciplines. Early in his career he became interested in applications of machine learning to problems in biology and the health sciences.

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Our conversation focused on a range of topics including:

  • How he shifted his focus from physics to machine learning and data science.
  • Applications of reinforcement learning.
  • “Data scientist” as a job title, and data science training programs.
  • Ethics in machine learning and data science, including training the next generation of data scientists.
  • A 2015 essay written by Michael Jordan and Tom Mitchell.

    You can view a video version of this conversation on our YouTube channel.

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